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1.  Inhalative Exposure to Vanadium Pentoxide Causes DNA Damage in Workers: Results of a Multiple End Point Study 
Environmental Health Perspectives  2008;116(12):1689-1693.
Background
Inhalative exposure to vanadium pentoxide (V2O5) causes lung cancer in rodents.
Objective
The aim of the study was to investigate the impact of V2O5 on DNA stability in workers from a V2O5 factory.
Methods
We determined DNA strand breaks in leukocytes of 52 workers and controls using the alkaline comet assay. We also investigated different parameters of chromosomal instability in lymphocytes of 23 workers and 24 controls using the cytokinesis-block micronucleus (MN) cytome method.
Results
Seven of eight biomarkers were increased in blood cells of the workers, and vanadium plasma concentrations in plasma were 7-fold higher than in the controls (0.31 μg/L). We observed no difference in DNA migration under standard conditions, but we found increased tail lengths due to formation of oxidized purines (7%) and pyrimidines (30%) with lesion-specific enzymes (formamidopyrimidine glycosylase and endonuclease III) in the workers. Bleomycin-induced DNA migration was higher in the exposed group (25%), whereas the repair of bleomycin-induced lesions was reduced. Workers had a 2.5-fold higher MN frequency, and nucleoplasmic bridges (NPBs) and nuclear buds (Nbuds) were increased 7-fold and 3-fold, respectively. Also, apoptosis and necrosis rates were higher, but only the latter parameter reached statistical significance.
Conclusions
V2O5 causes oxidation of DNA bases, affects DNA repair, and induces formation of MNs, NPBs, and Nbuds in blood cells, suggesting that the workers are at increased risk for cancer and other diseases that are related to DNA instability.
doi:10.1289/ehp.11438
PMCID: PMC2599764  PMID: 19079721
comet assay; cytokinesis-block micronucleus assay; DNA damage; occupational exposure; vanadium pentoxide
2.  Activins and activin antagonists in hepatocellular carcinoma 
In many parts of the world hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is among the leading causes of cancer-related mortality but the underlying molecular pathology is still insufficiently understood. There is increasing evidence that activins, which are members of the transforming growth factor β (TGFβ) superfamily of growth and differentiation factors, could play important roles in liver carcinogenesis. Activins are disulphide-linked homo- or heterodimers formed from four different β subunits termed βA, βB, βC, and βE, respectively. Activin A, the dimer of two βA subunits, is critically involved in the regulation of cell growth, apoptosis, and tissue architecture in the liver, while the hepatic function of other activins is largely unexplored so far. Negative regulators of activin signals include antagonists in the extracellular space like the binding proteins follistatin and FLRG, and at the cell membrane antagonistic co-receptors like Cripto or BAMBI. Additionally, in the intracellular space inhibitory Smads can modulate and control activin activity. Accumulating data suggest that deregulation of activin signals contributes to pathologic conditions such as chronic inflammation, fibrosis and development of cancer. The current article reviews the alterations in components of the activin signaling pathway that have been observed in HCC and discusses their potential significance for liver tumorigenesis.
doi:10.3748/wjg.14.1699
PMCID: PMC2695910  PMID: 18350601
Hepatocellular carcinoma; Activin; Follistatin; Transforming growth factor β

Results 1-2 (2)